Gillian Gibbons, the British schoolteacher working in Sudan, began serving a fifteen-day prison sentence today. Gibbon’s crime was to have allowed her students to name their class teddy bear Muhammad. According to CNN, protesters consider her sentence too light and want her executed. Executed. Over a stuffed animal.
It’s embarrassing, frankly, that as Westerners we even have to be discussing this outrage. It’s difficult (if not impossible) to consider a religion peaceful whose adherents—even if they are its extreme adherents—want a woman killed because of a stuffed animal. Events seem to keep outpacing Andrew Sullivan’s attempts to set up a meaningful equivalence between fundamentalist Muslims and fundamentalist Christians.